Steve Dawson fans will be getting an earful at Saturday night’s concert at Hermann’s. Not only did the Juno-winning multi-instrumentalist release two solo records last year, he also recently finished Things About Comin’ My Way: A Tribute to the Music of the Mississippi Sheiks.
“First and foremost, I just really liked their songs,” Dawson says of his decision to put together a Sheiks tribute album. “In the 1930s, in that genre of music, there wasn’t a lot of variation, and they seemed to have lots of different kinds of crazy songs. They had some really funny lyrics, but also some really poignant lyrics that are still contemporary today.”
The lineup for the tribute record is an impressive one, with artists like Bruce Cockburn, Bill Frisell, Madeleine Peyroux and Kelly Jo Phelps just a few of the names on the credits. Dawson says the guest artists were a mixture of close friends and casual acquaintances, some of whom weren’t familiar with the music of the 1930s guitar and fiddle group.
“I didn’t care if they were fans or not, I just really thought the people that I picked, I could picture them doing it,” he says.”It didn’t really matter to me whether they knew them or not.”
Dawson says to expect a mixture of tunes from his two solo records—Waiting For The Lights To Come Up, a collection of new songs and some traditional tunes, and Telescope, an all-instrumental album—plus some Sheiks tunes from the tribute album when he performs with his trio. The show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at Hermann’s and tickets are $18-$20.